Published on November 21st, 2015 | by James Ayre


40% Of US Electric Car Sales Are In California

November 21st, 2015 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

California now (well, as of January 2015) accounts for 40% of all zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) sales in the US, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

The new analysis — Strategic Analysis of California Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate — also predicts that, as the next round of ZEV requirements begins taking effect in 2017, ZEV sales will grow to 1.4 million units by 2025 (up from 60,000 in 2014).

Tesla Model S red blue black grey

“The stringency of California’s mandate will steadily go up in terms of the required proportions of ZEVs in fleets, changing the mix of cars on sale in the state,” stated Frost & Sullivan Intelligent Mobility Senior Research Analyst Sudeep Kaippalli. “Meanwhile, support and incentives from the government will follow at a slower but significant pace.”

A recent press release provides more:

Reducing upfront purchase costs and expanding non-monetary incentives will widen the potential customer base for ZEVs. A statewide government parking policy providing parking benefits at state-owned properties and buildings is already encouraging ZEV sales. Access to transparent and informative purchase processes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes will turn consumer sentiment positive. Although the uptake of ZEVs has increased since the ZEV action plan in 2013, much remains to be done particularly in the infrastructure domain. Stakeholders must set up connected corridors with an adequate number of fast-charging stations to boost sales.

“Hydrogen fueling infrastructure is another priority investment that will fast-track the migration to ZEVs,” continued Kaippalli. “Constructing renewable energy charging spaces will also promote the use of ZEVs in California.”

Those interested can find the full analysis here.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • svein friborg

    In Norway BEV´s have over 17% share of new cars, we gonna have 75 000 BEV´s by the end of 2015. We have now 3% BEV´s

  • Benjamin Nead

    My Tokyo-built I-Miev (now finally sitting outside the front of my Arizona home as of this morning) started it’s North American life in Normal, Illinois, as a leased vehicle for the original owner. Following the trade in, it ended up being auctioned off to an Anaheim, California, dealer, where it sat on the lot for the better part of a year.

    As with many Leaf owners I know locally, an online listing directed me to the car and I “jailbeaked” it here to the Grand Canyon State. So, while I’m sure 40% of EVs in the United Stated do reside in California and have been mostly driven there, mine mearly vacationed there in the warm weather months of 2015 and was driven all of around 10 miles during the entire stay.

    If you happen to reside in states immediately to the east of California, consider going over there and pluck a lightly used one off the used car tree like proverbial freshly harvested orange. ‘Tis the season.

    • Yes, a lot of people buy EVs in California to take home to other states. I wonder how many…


    Just a reminder, there are 13 million vehicles on California roads and how many are EV’s?

    We need to get the sales of new cars to be at least 40%EV’s to make a significant difference. You know 40% of a very small number is smaller still!

    • Philip W

      Gotta start somewhere. Exponential growth takes care of the rest.

      • Tim

        For there to be 1.4 million sold in 2025, that would be 37% compounded growth. Silicon based abilities (processor speed, RAM, hard disk space, Internet bandwidth) have grown at about 40% compounded growth for 30 years so I could see it.

        At that rate, all cars in CA would be EVs by 2032. If they mean total on the road in CA by 2025, then a guesstimate is 26% which gives all cars by 2035 or 2036.

  • Mark Gutting-Kilzer

    EV availability in the Chicago area is limited by manufacturers. Pure EV’s from Fiat, Kia, Mini, Scion, Smart and VW, are neither leased nor sold here. I would seriously consider a Kia Soul EV if it were available in the area.

    • Otis11

      Exactly the point I was going to make. Besides the Leaf and Model S, not much has been sold outside of California and the other ZEV states. I’d actually bet of this small market (just the states that are part of the ZEV push) California probably makes up 40% of the total cars sold in these states…

      • The i3 and Volt are also sold nationwide. But yes, I agree overall.

  • Harry Johnson

    California has been leading the nation for decades and thank goodness.

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